"For The Love of Ivy" as written by and Brian Tristan Jeffrey Lee Pierce....
You look just like an Elvis from hell
My heart is broken, so I'm gong to hell
Bury me way down deep in hell
I'm a steel drivin' man, I want to go to hell

Then go tell Ivy oh-oh
For the love of Ivy yeah-yeah
I did it for Ivy oh-oh

You're the one

Gonna buy me a graveyard of my own
Kill everyone who ever done me wrong
Gonna buy me a gun just as long as my arm
Kill everyone who ever done me harm

Then go tell Ivy oh-oh
For the love of Ivy yeah-yeah
I did it for Ivy oh-oh

You're the one

Well, jawbone eat and jawbone talk
Jawbone eat you with a knife and fork
I was hunting for niggers down in the dark
When suddenly I got a better thought

Let's go hunt Ivy, oh-oh
Let's go get Ivy, yeah-yeah
For the love of Ivy, oh-oh

You're the one

I did it for Ivy
I did it for Ivy
Ha ha ha, Ivy

I was all dressed up like Elvis from hell, hell

Lyrics submitted by damnrealb

"For the Love of Ivy" as written by John Edmund Andrew Phillips Dennis Doherty

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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For The Love of Ivy song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI logged in just to reply to this post. damnrealb, if you don't know the Gun Club you might find the use of the word "nigger" to be offensive. Noone can't blame you for that.

    However, you must understand that its use is only a reference to a certain american culture, that could be named Southern Gothic, and which is present throughout the Gun Club lyrics.

    Noone in is right mind would find it offensive to read that word in a Faulkner's book. It's the same thing here.

    Jeffery Lee Pierce had a more than thorough knowledge of american culture, especially its "underbelly". He was also one of the less racist person I can think of. Jeffrey travelled throughout the world, lived in Japan, England, Belgium, South America and Jamaica (to name a few), and showed a relentless and profound interest in other cultures. His music, thoughout the years, showed influences from all sorts of blues, rock'n'roll, jazz, free jazz, raegge, rap music.

    I think it's a shame that the Gun Club isn't more largely known. It's one of the most complex and interesting project in the history of rock'n'roll. And also one of the most overlooked band there is (the number of lyrics posted here shows that clearly). The fucking White Stripes wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Jeffrey's music.
    Beardedon June 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song FactFor what it is worth, it is clearly a reference to "Poison Ivy" from The Cramps. The song is co-written by Brian "Kid Congo Powers" Tristan, whom JL Pierce taught guitar.

    Tristan quit The Gun Club to join The Cramps during the recording of The Gun Club's Fire of Love (and then rejoined a few years later on and off).

    Ivy's husband and bandmate in The Cramps was "Lux Interior," who had an overdriven Elvis bouffant haircut, and did a kind of psychobilly Elvis presentation. That is clearly the "You look like an Elvis from HELL" reference in the song.

    I can't help that you guys don't "get" the use of "nigger" in the lyrics. It was a different time, culture, and context, and he was portraying classic Southern evangelical evil (that was still present in the late 50s when Pierce was born).

    Before this album Pierce both ran the Blondie fan club and also championed Reggae as it appeared on the emerging punk rock scene (it was "revolution" music).

    Pierce wrote about it in Slash magazine, and even adopted a "reggae name" -- "Rankin' Jeffery Lea." During this period he stayed in Jamaica, even staying with the famous Winston Rodney (Burning Spear). Under "Jeffery Lee Pierce" he wrote about 50s rockabilly and 20s blues, saying that it was the "punk rock" of its time.

    Pierce was biracial himself (he is half Latino), and had a multiracial line up in various band and solo recordings. I know it is easier to just yell "racist" than to look at what kind of edge he was walking as he made an album(s) that clearly worships Delta blues and the darkness of the legends of the major players. The album's lyrics even use exact phrases from Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson. But there is something going on underneath that surface.

    Context, folks. Context.
    ShouldBeDeadon April 03, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI posted this because I wanted to discuss the band's use of the n-word in a few of their songs, but I don't really care anymore and nobody will every respond.

    In the even that someone does, is the band trying to be shocking or funny, or do they really thing racism is cool? I think racism is for fools.
    damnrealbon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRight On, Bearded !!

    Ik cannot believe that these are the only comments on The Gun Clubs songs...

    My God, they are awesome....... !
    ajhaanon January 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcouldn't someone put up the lyrics for 'sex beat' i cant figure them out...

    great one, anyway...
    bone_machineon August 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdamnrelb,
    I too posted because I wanted to discuss Gun Clubs use of the N word. Considering that their music is obviously a derivative of Blues (the first N* music if ya will) the line in Ivy almost seems out of place. I have to admit this line was shocking to me when I heard it back in the 80's (long time fan and a product of southern living). But regardless, I was always still a big fan of The Gun Club. Usually a misc . use of the N word could be forgiven, after all it was the 80's, but to say he was hunting them????? Quite shocking. Personally I hoping that someone has some interpretation of this lyric or Jeffery's real meaning behind it. It kind of make him sounds like he's a member of the KKK. Bearded please come up with some justification. The only possibility of interpretation that I can come up with is that is that he too was consumed by the hatred but found the love of Ivy even more consuming. Quite the pull if you ask me. I agree with Bearded that The Gun Club are one of the most interesting and complex in the history of rock and roll, but these lyrics are hard to justify.
    mlmorganon October 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone ever notice Pierce's line "gonna buy me a gun just as long as my arm" in this song is similar to Jimmie Rodgers' "I'm gonna buy me a pistol just as long as I'm tall" in Blue Yodel No. 1?

    Dunno if this is a common phrase in country or blues, but I do know Pierce borrowed a lot of lines and songs from classic country and blues artists.
    kreeningsonson November 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had a discussion with a friend about this song a little while ago, and he suggested that the song has something to do with Poison Ivy from the Cramps. I can't see anything in the lyrics that would suggest that, but he seems dead sure. Maybe he's never looked at the lyrics.

    Anyone know anything about that?
    0hsweetnutthinon March 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile all this lyrical discussion is interesting and all, there's only one thing that needs to be said:

    This is the coolest motherfucking song ever made.
    mattgeeon July 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti am convinced every single gun club song has alot to do with heroin i mean if you try to find abstract relations between herioin and any of their songs youll see what i'm saying. i mean you might need to do heroin to understand that when your totally stung out its hard not to see heroin in everything you do so he could be talking about something else but hes still talking about heroin or at least thinking about it.
    BnSwisson July 29, 2010   Link

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